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Artist: Toyohara Kunichika (豊原国周)

Print: Ichikawa Danjūrō IX as Yokozō (横蔵) from the series
One Hundred Roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō
(Ichikawa Danjūrō Engei Hyakuban 市川団十郎演芸百番)

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Dates: 1903,created
Dimensions: 9.5 in,14.0 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: color woodblock print
Inscription:

Signed: Kunichika hitsu (国周筆)
Publisher: Fukuda Kumajirō (福田熊次郎)
Artist's seal: toshidama
Carver: Sansei Hori Ei (三世彫栄)
Date: Meiji 36 (1903), 9th month
明治三十六九月

Related links: Waseda University; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg - preparatory drawing for this print; Lyon Collection - Yoshitaki print of Yakozō;

Physical description:
    "In 1893 Kunichika undertook a commission for two series of single-sheet portraits that were each dedicated to an individual actor. The first of these, One hundred roles of Danjūrō, featured the major roles of Ichikawa Danjūrō IX (1838-1903) in a set of half-length portraits. A square cartouche in the upper register of each print contains a verse or illustration, and the series title cartouche is backed by peonies, a flower associated with Danjūrō IX. “While his best-known pieces from this period are triptychs, Kunichika produced some outstanding series of single-sheet portraits, such as the One hundred roles of Ichikawa Danjuro IX (Ichikawa Danjuro engei hyakuban) and One hundred roles of Baiko (Baiko hyakushu no uchi). Like Kunisada’s set of ‘large-head’ portraits, Kunichika’s two series may be regarded as ‘monuments to his [Kunichika’s] career’. Whilst Kunisada attempted an overview of all the greatest actors of the age, Kunichika’s two series focus on the Kabuki doyens, Ichikawa Danjuro IX and Onoe Kikugoro V. "The publisher Fukuda Kumajiro (together with Gusokuya Kahei) commissioned Kunichika to begin work on the One hundred roles of Ichikawa Danjuro IX in 1893. The series was completed posthumously in 1903, the year of the actor’s death and under the supervision of Fukuda Shojiro (d. 1925.) The prints in the series were sumptuously printed using expensive materials and techniques. Each image documents the actor’s most successful roles; a text or illustration appears in the upper register.”
Source: Time Present and Time Past: Images of a Forgotten Master: Toyohara Kunichika (1835-1900), Amy Reigle Newland, Hotei Publishing, 1999, p. 127.

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Yakozō appears in two prints in the Lyon Collection, this one and one by Yoshitaki. (Click on the link above.)